Meet the Trustees

Meet Western's Board of Trustees

Todd Wheeler - Board Vice Chair
Todd M. Wheeler – Board Chair

Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.

Castle Rock

Re-appointed December 2014 • Term expires December 2018

Todd Wheeler is Vice Chairman of the global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield, Inc. based in New York City. Wheeler has over 20 years’ experience as a market leading transaction consultant advising many of the largest and most influential organizations in the country on optimizing the value they receive from their business real estate portfolios. He is a highly regarded expert in leasing, structured finance and portfolio optimization who has won many regional, national and even one global award for his work. He graduated from Western State College Colorado in 1990 having thoroughly enjoyed his years as a student athlete, skier and outdoor enthusiast. Wheeler married fellow Mountaineer, Laura Durfee in 1991 and now resides in Castle Rock with Laura and their three children. Wheeler currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Tennyson Center for Children and Families and has served on the Board of Directors for the Denver Metropolitan Association of Commercial Realtors.

Noelle E. Hagan – Board Vice Chair


Re-appointed December 2013 • Term expires December 2017

Noelle Hagan has been a resident of Colorado's Western Slope for more than 20 years, first in Montrose and currently in Gunnison. She served on the Montrose City Council from 2000-2008, including two terms as Mayor. Hagan's lifelong commitment to civic involvement is demonstrated by her past and current service to numerous boards including the Community Foundation of the Gunnison Valley, Colorado Municipal League, the Montrose Regional Library District, the League of Women Voters and the San Juan Regional Council of the El Pomar Foundation. She has a degree inCommunications from Regis University and currently works as a consultant to nonprofits and governments in the area of organizational development.


Chris Blees, Board of Trustees
Christian W. Blees


​Colorado Springs

Appointed December 2015 • Term expires December 2019

Chris Blees currently serves as President and CEO of BiggsKofford Certified Public Accountants and BiggsKofford Capital Investment Bank, both located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Chris began his career with BiggsKofford in 1994 after graduating from Western State College of Colorado, and quickly became a Partner in the CPA firm in 1999, at the age of 28. In 2003, Chris expanded the firm beyond traditional CPA services and launched the firm’s M&A and Investment Banking practice, now operating as BiggsKofford Capital. Chris contributes to the national M&A community through his service on the Board of Advisors for the Alliance of Merger & Acquisition Advisors, where he chairs the Certification Committee. In Colorado, Chris remains active in many professional organizations, including serving as Treasurer for the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance (Chamber), sits on the boards of the UCCS Chancellor’s Leadership Council, the Alliance of M&A Advisors, and is co-founder of High Altitude Angel Investors Club. He is a member of the Association of Corporate Growth, Colorado Association of Business Intermediaries, AICPA, and the Colorado Society of CPAs.

Nancy E. Chisholm

Tyco Retail Solutions


Re-appointed December 2016 • Term expires December 2020

Nancy Chisholm is the Vice President and General Manager of Tyco Retail Solutions, a $1B vertical business unit of Tyco, headquartered in Neuhausen, Switzerland. Tyco Retail is a leading global provider of integrated retail performance and security solutions, deployed today at more than 80 percent of the world’s top 200 retailers. Chisholm has responsibility for sales, manufacturing, and operations support for this business throughout the world including North America, EMEA, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America. Previously, Chisholm served for three years as Vice President, Global Human Resources for Tyco’s $9B Security Solutions division. Throughout her 19 year career at Tyco, she has held broad functional and line leadership roles, both globally and in North America, in the areas of general management, operations, and human resources. Chisholm has been recognized internally as a Tyco Chairman’s Award winner, and externally as one of Diversity Magazine’s “50 Women Worth Watching.” She has a passion for mentoring and development for early to mid-career professionals, and serves as an Executive Sponsor for Tyco’s “Women’s Growth Network.” She graduated from Western State Colorado University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in 1990. Chisholm lives in the Denver area and enjoys skiing, sports and the outdoors with her 18 year old son, Reid.

Erich Ferchau - Board of Trustees, Western State Colorado University
Erich Ferchau

RE-MAX Community Brokers


Appointed December 2014 • Term expires December 2018

​Erich Ferchau is the Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Community Brokers in Gunnison and Crested Butte. Following a career with The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, GA, Erich and his family (Beth, Kathryn and Evan) moved back to Gunnison and started their real estate business in 2000.  Erich’s father, Hugo A. Ferchau, was a professor of Botany and Environmental Science at WSC since the early 1960’s and Erich attended Western from 1977-1979.  Erich has served a term on the Gunnison County Planning Commission and is presently a member of the Gunnison County Sage-grouse Strategic Committee and the City of Gunnison Planning Commission.  He believes the ongoing success of the community depends on a healthy, vibrant and growing University; and, the success of Western depends on a supportive, engaged and collaborative relationship with the community.  We all have a role to play in the mutual success of both!

Board of Trustees member Aquino G. Gallegos
Aquino G. Gallegos

Costilla County Housing Authority

San Luis

Appointed December 2013 • Term expires December 2017

Aquino Gallegos graduated from Western in 1982 with a degree in business administration. Gallegos is Executive Director of Costilla County Public Housing in San Luis, Colorado. He has also served as Costilla County’s Director of Social Services and was employed for more than twenty years by Rocky Mountain SER, which contracts employment and training programs within the state of Colorado. Gallegos is currently Treasurer of the San Luis Peoples Ditch (the oldest adjudicated water right in Colorado 1856) and is a member of the Costilla County Natural Resource Conservation District Board. Gallegos says he chose to attend Western because it allowed him to combine a great education with his passion for the outdoors. After graduating, he returned to San Luis to manage his family’s property, a fifth generation Coloradocentennial ranch that he and his brother continue to operate.

Jim Oates, Western Board of Trustees
James G. Oates


Appointed December 2013 • Term expires December 2017


Keith Kennedy

iCardiac Technologies


Appointed December 2016 • Term expires December 2020

A lifelong resident of Colorado, Keith Kennedy is the U.S. Director for Business Development at iCardiac Technologies. Kennedy works with fortune 500 pharmacuetical companies providing respiratory and cardiac safety diagnostic equipment used in clinical research. He has worked in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry for almost 20 years. Kennedy graduated from Western State College Colorado in 1990 with a degree in Business Administration. In addition to igniting his passion for business, his time at Western also deepened his love for skiing and cycling which he still enjoys to this day. Kennedy married his college sweetheart, Donna Anderson in 1990 and has two wonderful children, Kelsey a graduate of Colorado State University and Dakota Kennedy who is currently attending Lewis and Clark College in Portland Oregon. He has several industry publications and previously served on the Colorado Association of Family Physicians Board.

Board of Trustees Member Pamela A. Shaddock, J.D.
Pamela A. Shaddock, J.D.

Weld County


Appointed December 2015 • Term expires December 2019

Pam Shaddock is an attorney who has resided in Colorado for over 30 years. Her work life includes 20 years of active legal practice and five years as an educator teaching at levels spanning 7th grade students to undergraduate students at the University of Alaska. Most recently, she has spent ten years in public service.  In 2003 she was elected to an At-Large seat on the Greeley City Council and thereafter, served as the Regional Director in 11 Northeastern Colorado counties for United States Senator Mark Udall.  She’s committed to the betterment of Colorado’s rural communities as reflected by her experiences as President of the Weld County Bar Association and Co-Chairperson of statewide Colorado Rural Legal Services. Her background in the non-profit arena includes terms as Chairperson of Weld County United Way and of Hospice and Palliative Care of Northern Colorado. She represented the city of Greeley on its Downtown Development Authority and on the board of Upstate Colorado, the economic development arm for Weld County. With a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Colorado and a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the University of Nebraska, she is a dedicated advocate for that special place that is Western State Colorado University.

Alex Jackson Student Government President
Alex Jackson

Alex Jackson is a Senior at Western pursuing a double major in Mathematics and Business Administration with an emphasis in Management. She is the 2017-2018 Student Government Association President and previously was the LEAD Ambassador for the 2016-2017 Student Government Association. She is actively involved on campus through the LEAD office, planning and hosting events for students, and assisting the Vice Presidents in Academic Affairs. She takes pride in being a Mountaineer and representing the students at Western. She is from Littleton, Colorado and considers the Gunnison Valley to be her second home.​

Dr. John Hausdoerffer

A Western alumnus from 1996 (History), Dr. John Hausdoerffer is the executive director of the Center for Environment and Sustainability at Western.  He also serves as a Professor of Environment & Sustainability and Philosophy, as well as the founding director of the Master in Environmental Management program.  Dr. Hausdoerffer has published two books: Catlin's Lament: Indians, Manifest Destiny, and the Ethics of Nature and Wildness: Relations of People and Place (co-edited with Gavin Van Horn).  His wife Karen also teaches at Western, and they are raising two daughters (Atalaya and Sol) in Gunnison and the surrounding mountains.